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Old 12-09-2008, 03:11 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default OpenCL 1.0 Specification Released, ATI & NVIDIA Adopt Support

From our front-page news:
The open GPGPU computing language, known as OpenCL, hit a huge milestone today, making the release of the 1.0 specification. This is news we've been waiting for, for quite a while, because this might be just what we need to see general purpose GPU computing taken to the next level. For those unaware, OpenCL is, as the name suggests, an "Open Computing Language" based on C, that becomes a standard coding general purpose applications for use on the GPU.

Overall, OpenCL loosely resembles ATI's Stream and NVIDIA's CUDA technologies, but the problem with those is that they're dedicated to their respective architecture. CUDA applications are not compatible with ATI's cards, and vice versa. That's why OpenCL is important, because it creates a standard that allows developers to code an application that will work on any OpenCL-compliant GPU, not just one.

Industry support has been rather favorable, with both ATI and NVIDIA adopting the standard, and Apple has been long known to have been planning support for the technology in Mac OS X 10.6, "Snow Leopard", which is due in the middle of next year. It will become the first OS to support the technology, and the inclusion of its support is a great sign. If Apple is confident enough to utilize OpenCL in their most-important product, then I think it's safe to say that the future looks good for the new standard.

"The opportunity to effectively unlock the capabilities of new generations of programmable compute and graphics processors drove the unprecedented level of cooperation to refine the initial proposal from Apple into the ratified OpenCL 1.0 specification," said Neil Trevett, chair of the OpenCL working group, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA. "As an open, cross-platform standard, OpenCL is a fundamental technology for next generation software development that will play a central role in the Khronos API ecosystem and we look forward to seeing implementations within the next year."

Source: Khronos Press Release
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